kcw and me: Kristin

Hello, Kristin from skirt as top here to reflect on what KCW, and Meg, have meant to me.

First, a look to the past. I don’t think it’s overstating things to say that “elsie marley” Meg is a huge reason i became a sewing blogger at all. I had a little flickr page where i posted my projects here and there when i started sewing in 2009, and I followed a lot of sewing blogs, but hadn’t taken the leap to a blog of my own. Then meg posted a photo of a dress i made in a 2010 KCW inspiration post, and my heart actually skipped a beat when i saw it featured (i told her so in a comment). That was MY sewing up there, and it got noticed by one of my very favorite bloggers! It took me a few months, but i finally launched my blog in March 2011, Meg asked me to guest post back in late 2011, and I don’t think I missed a single KCW until late last year.

kcwc fall 2011

Being a sewing blogger has brought me some amazing online and real-life friendships and experiences – I’ve met sewing friends coming through my town (somehow Portland became a tourist destination in the last few years), I’ve traveled to meet others, I now have a national and even global network of sewing buddies that I know I could grab a coffee with and hit up a cool fabric store and chat with for hours. Some of these women I’ve never met except for the internet, but it’s my experience that that the type of women who choose to sew kid clothes and blog in their spare time share a certain set of personality traits, and we are a tribe.

lumberjack layette pants

Meg was one of the first sewing bloggers to bring us together with an event, the Kids Clothes Week Challenge, and I will be forever grateful to her for her critical role in building this community. Even though Meg hasn’t blogged her own stuff in OVER A YEAR, her kid sewing was subtle and cool before that was really a thing, and if you’re not familiar with the Elsie Marley archives, you should block out an afternoon and start scrolling.

chambray kneepatch parsley pants

And now, THE FUTURE.

It seems many of us (myself included) have cut back on our sewing/blogging in the last year or so. We all sort of ramped up our effort and then crashed simultaneously. For me, a lot of it had to do with a third baby that didn’t sleep well and a new job that kept me much busier during the day and tired out by evening. And it seems once I got out of the habit, and noticed my buddies also blogging less, it was even easier to “not blog.” There’s also instagram, and the collective Kondo, and just general burnout. Lots of reasons. I do miss more frequent blogging, mainly for the community. I miss seeing what my friends have sewn, to hear their voices through their writing, to read more about the patterns they’re using, to feel that sense of excitement over a new fabric/pattern/tutorial.

handcrafted easter hanami

I don’t think I’ll ever get back to my truly crazy pace of twice a week blogging, but I think that really, Meg’s original idea to sew an hour a day for a week (and to blog about it) for Kids Clothes Week may be the sort of jump start I may need to get myself out of my blogging rut. Maybe you too?

Part of the reason I hang on to blogging is because it has brought me so much joy, so much inspiration, and changed how I view myself. When we share our creativity with each other, it makes us all better. I think KCW has been a major force in building the kids sewing blog culture, our sweet little corner of the internet. I would encourage everyone to keep pushing yourself toward creativity and community as KCW moves on without Meg and Dorie, because we have such a cool thing going, and we should help it grow!

Thank you Meg and Dorie, for all you did to encourage and build up other sewing bloggers through KCW. You’ve done good here. And to Julie, I’m so excited to see what’s next!

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  • Reply Lightning McStitch May 10, 2016 at 8:22 am

    And since my blog came into being purely for an excuse to piggyback on your cool Film Petit series then I humbly INSIST that you continue to blog Kristin, or there may yet be another coup d’etat in the world of cool kid’s sewing blog series!

  • Reply Sarah May 10, 2016 at 9:35 am

    My blog came to be because of yours, Kristin.  I just love everything you have done.  You are truly an inspiration to me.  I, too have really scaled my blogging back.  I don’t think I’ve posted since March, though I probably have 10 things to “blog” about.  I think you’ve just given me the motivation to actually start blogging again.  

  • Reply Inder May 10, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    I definitely blogged a bit less last year, but when all was said and done, I really wished I had blogged more! As much as a record for me, of my kids’ growth and fun things I’ve made, as anything, although the community is amazing. This year I am trying to diligently blog everything I make (well, skipping some minor little gifts and things, some things really are too boring to bother blogging!). At some point, you come back to doing it for yourself, really. If it’s all about external pressure, of course you’re gonna burn out. I dunno, just my random thoughts on this! 

  • Reply kristin May 10, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Oh Sarah and Shelley, thank you so much!  Glad I could help pay the blogging forward a little, and Shelley I miss Film Petit too!!!!  Someday it’ll be resurrected.  

    Inder, I agree.  I want to blog more, I’m just having trouble actually doing it.  And you’re right, blogging for ourselves rather than for others is what it’s all about.  I started sewing for myself, and taking photos so I would remember what I made and how I made it, but I definitely got swept up in the blog tours and the pattern testing and all of the exciting things that came from blogging.  Those things are fun, of course, but too much does lead to burn out.  I hope I can circle back around to blogging semi-regularly and not feeling like it’s an obligation but a thing I want to do!  

  • Reply Ana Sofia May 10, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Me too! Despite saying to myself (I think it even made it to my wish-list earlier this year) I don’t blog as much as I wish (and that’s certainly due to the lack of things to post. I sew more than I post!). In a sense, I fell there’s nothing new to add to what has already been posted – it feels like everything it’s been said and done by now 🙁 
    Oddly, my blog started as a way of creating memories of my sewing journey … It’s actually really hard to find a balance between living and blogging.
    Of course, KCW is always a great opportunity to update my neglected blog 🙂 

  • Reply Erin May 10, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    Kristin, my west coast sewing sister! I loved this post- you are easily one of my favorite gals out there, and i truly get excited whenever you post because I know it’s gonna be good.  I personally love to sit and read a blog post- see several pictures and hear a solid description, as opposed to a quick IG pic (though I love those too!).  I hope you’ll blog a little more here and there.  Baby that doesn’t sleep well? I had THREE OF THOSE so I totally get it! 😉

  • Reply rachel May 12, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Kristin, this was such a touching and nostalgic post!  I still remember discovering Meg/Elsie Marley and being so inspired by her style which was so unique!  Kids Clothes Week was such an inspiration to me, too.  The collective energy was incredible and the projects were some of the most inspiring all year.  It wouldpush me to do my best best work!  

    You’ve inspired me so much, too, Kristin!  Thanks for your contribution to the sewing world! xx

  • Reply Melissa Q. May 23, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Oh, I love this post! Yes, I remember the huge thrill of being featured.  It’s so great!! Miss your beautiful blog post, friend.  But, I’m not saying that in a pressure kind of way.  I get it. 

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